Featuring characters from Mike Mignola and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell's Mr. Higgins Comes Home and Our Encounters with Evil: Adventures of Professor J.T. Meinhardt and His Assistant Mr. Knox, the new graphic novel Falconspeare is now available from Dark Horse Comics. To celebrate its recent release, we caught up with writer/artist/colorist Johnson-Cadwell in a new Q&A feature to discuss teaming up with Mignola, bringing this sinister story to life, and further fleshing out the wonderfully haunted world of Professor J.T. Meinhardt and friends!

Below, you can read our full Q&A with Johnson-Cadwell as well as preview pages from Falconspeare, and to learn more about this new graphic novel, visit Dark Horse Comics!

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions for us, Warwick, and congratulations on the release of Falconspeare! This new graphic novel features the return of Professor J.T. Meinhardt, Mr. Knox, and Ms. Mary Van Sloan, who are all characters created by you and Mike Mignola. How did the idea for this new graphic novel come about?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: Our first book, Mr. Higgins Comes Home, was written by Mike Mignola, and I was privileged to draw it. Professor J.T. Meinhardt and Mr. Knox were written by Mike, and I drew them. Ms. Mary Van Sloan came later in Our Encounters With Evil, written and illustrated by me. I was very keen to return to those guys and see what else their world might contain. Every page Mike wrote threw out so many ideas that I was busting to continue with them in some way or another. Encounters was a series of short stories, so we could get into the weird supernatural lives of our heroes. In Falconspeare, I wanted to tell a bigger and more complex story, as Mike had in Mr. Higgins. And I wanted our characters to grow a little bigger, too.

What can readers expect from this latest adventure with Professor J.T. Meinhardt and friends?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: We should expect more of the classic horror flavor of the first books and some of the humor that Mike rooted so well in Mr. Higgins, but also something a bit darker in this volume. There’s a more sinister element here, maybe more horrible than what we’ve seen already.

While writing Falconspeare, did you have any conversations with Mike about the story or the characters?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: We did not. As with Encounters, I wrote story ideas which I sent to Dark Horse. I was very happy for them to be well received by the excellent crew there. It’s unlike the Hellboy Universe, which is a complex world and requires a lot of scrutiny to make sure new elements fit correctly. This universe is on its own, so we’re free to go wild!

Approximately how long did it take you to write and draw Falconspeare?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: My first drawing of James Falconspeare was in 2017. The idea grew slowly from there. I think I’d wondered whether he’d fit into Encounters somehow (2019), but he would not. There was also some starting and stopping, as my main proposal went in just before Covid lockdowns turned up. It seemed like it’d be shelved for the time being, but a very welcome green light lit, and I got the rest of lockdown to draw the book.

What are you the most excited for readers to experience with Falconspeare?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: I’m very excited to further expand the characters and the possibilities of their world and stories. I’m hoping that I can stretch and develop those stories. I’m always nervous how these things turn out. These books embrace a pretty formulaic genre, which I hope I can make familiar but also bring some freshness to. Even to the dusty tombs and fetid creatures of the night.

What has it been like to team up with Dark Horse Comics to release Falconspeare?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: It’s been an incredible experience. Mike Mignola is a comics hero of mine, so that was (and still is) unbelievable. But the rest of the team is wonderful. Editors Kati O’Brien and Jenny Blenk are so supportive, and Clem Robins works magic on the pages with his letters. And again, returning to Mike alongside the superpowers of colorist Dave Stewart on the covers, they make these books more than a dream come true.

What advice would you give to aspiring comic book writers and artists just getting started in the industry?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: Work hard and often. Pay particular attention to getting things finished when you should and worry less about whether it’s perfect. Making the right contacts and connections won’t mean so much if your work isn’t strong, so always spend more time on working than networking. Have fun, stretch, and sleep well.

In addition to Falconspeare, what other upcoming projects are you excited about, and where can our readers go online to keep up with your work?

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: Right now Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Kickstarter is running. I’ll have art in there. Also, announced later this year is an original six-issue comic by me from a brand-new publishing partnership. More news as it comes!

Thank you very much for your time, Warwick!

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell: THANK YOU!


Falconspeare synopsis: "Jump into an eerie Victorian-style mystery with an off-kilter, charming twist in the next knockout collaboration from Mike Mignola and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell! Monster hunters extraordinaire Professor Meinhardt, Mr. Knox, and Ms. Van Sloan have teamed up to slay spooks and investigate the uncanny before, but now they'll tackle a question that's haunted them for years: What happened to their friend and vampire slayer extraordinaire, James Falconspeare?

Rendered in Johnson-Cadwell's signature loose, expressive style, and with gorgeous cover from Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart, this hardcover will be a treat for fans of Mr. Higgins Comes Home and Our Encounters with Evil as well as folks new to the world Johnson-Cadwell and Mignola have created."

Falconspeare Preview Pages:

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.